City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

Monday, June 17, 2002


3:00 p.m.

Suite 70, Conference Room

25 Van Ness Ave.

San Francisco 94102

Explanatory documents are available for public inspection and copying at the Arts Commission office, 25 Van Ness Ave, Ste 240, during regular business hours.


The meeting commenced at 3:05 p.m.

  1. Role Call:

    Commissioners present: William Meyer, Rod Freebairn-Smith, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Andrea Cochran

    Commissioners absent: Stanlee Gatti

    Staff present: Richard Newirth, Nancy Gonchar, Rommel Taylor

  2. Bison Paddock
    Phase 1,2,3

    Scott Burbank, Landscape Architect, DPW, explained that the purpose of the project was to create protected feeding environment for the bison in Golden Gate Park. The paddock would be a prefabricated steel structure with a standing seam metal roof. The structure would be erected on a concrete pad. The center of the structure would have a metal trough for the bison to feed from.

    Mr. Burbank explained that he had been in conversation with Public Art staff regarding the art enrichment report. The money set aside for this project will be reallocated to another park project.

    Commissioner Meyer opened the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Meyer closed the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Freebairn-Smith asked if the site would be cleared and refinished.

    Mr. Burbank answered that it would.

    Motion to approve Phase 1,2,3
    Motion: Freebairn-Smith

  3. Laguna Honda Hospital Replacement Project
    Phase 1 & 2

    Derek Parker, Principal, Anshen + Allen Architects, briefly reviewed the review history of the project. He explained that they were returning to Civic Design to address specific concerns regarding the elevations of the residential towers.

    Jeff Logan presented the design changes. Mr. Logan explained that the strategy for the design was based on the architectural precedents of the existing buildings. He explained that the simplicity of the building forms, materials and window patterns were analogous to those found on the existing nursing wings. Mr. Logan explained that the team spent more design energy and money in terms of materials and form on the link building and living room towers. These decisions were also analogous to what they observed at the existing building. He explained that most of the unique architectural modeling and material richness was found at the entry buildings and at the towers which terminated the nursing wings.

    Mr. Parker explained that it was important for the team to carry over lessons presented by the existing building into the design of the new structures. He reiterated that although budget was a major factor, they were not hiding behind that restriction to explore alternative responses to the design. He explained that they generated over 19 alternatives , however the ones presented today were the most appropriate in terms of design and budget.

    Larry Funk, Laguna Honda Hospital, commented that he was pleased with the progress made by the design team. He explained that the revised schemes added usable floor area to the communal spaces and that the curved feature was adds a pleasing design aesthetic to the overall project.

    Commissioner Meyer opened the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Meyer closed the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Freebairn-Smith explained that his particularly reservations with the pervious design schemes had to do with rendering the nursing towers in a way that symbolized 'residence' more that 'institution'. He explained that since this would be a final home for most of the residents that the architecture could respond to that in a more strong fashion. Mr. Freebairn-Smith also commented that he would have liked to see floor plans that informed the overall modeling of the exterior volumes. He explained that he was fully aware of the time constraints and that significant modifications were not appropriate at this stage. As far as the window proportions and patterns, he would leave that to the discretion of the design architects,

    Commissioner Meyer commented that the curved element at the core of and the expanded color trim were improvements.

    Commissioner Cochran commented that she did not think the curve was an improvement. She commented that she liked the proportions of the windows at the core of the nursing tower. Ms. Cochran reiterated that her concerns with the previous design had to do with the depth of the windows and reveals not color. She explained that the walls seem very flat and institutional.

    Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon commented that the rounded core element was a positive move. She commented that she agreered with the general strategy to keep the design simple, however she also expected elegance as well.

    Mr. Parker commented that he understands Mr. Freebairn-Smith's comments. He explained that the program for the project is a 'hospital program' and not a 'residential program'. This fundamental distinction was a driving factor in the floor plan design. Mr. Parker also explained that the elevation drawings are deceptive and that the architectural modeling will be revealed more in the constructed building.

    Commissioner Freebairn-Smith asked if there had been significant community involvement and support in the design process. He commented that although there was no public com mentors present that the commission did receive a letter from Mr. Ed Cavagnaro expressing concern about the design.

    Arla Escontrias, Community Relations, Laguna Honda Hospital commented that the team has kept the community involved in the process. She explained that a 1,000 ft. radius notification was performed to inform the neighborhood residents of the proposed project. She explained that the San Francisco Planning Department only requires a 300 ft radius neighborhood notification. She commented that over 35 community meetings were held. Ms. Escontrias commented that over 300 residents were notified of these meetings, but only 12 attended. Information regarding the project is kept up to date via their website. She also explained that the designs were presented to the community in advance of the Civic Design meetings.

    Mr. Parker added that an independent third party conducted sophisticated shadow studies that were used as part of the Environmental Impact Report.

    Motion to approve Phase 1 + 2 scheme with curved wall and no color modification

  4. North Beach Pool Renovation
    Phase 2

    Paulett Taggert, Principal, Paulett Taggert Architects briefly reviews the scope of the project and the comments from the previous design review. Ms.Taggert explained that the overall design had not changed since the last review. She explained that they had studied the possibility of modifying the slope of the clubhouse roof to match the pool roof. She explained that the mechanical equipment on the roof of the clubhouse prohibited that option. She commented that the contrast in the sloped roof was a positive attribute. Ms. Taggert presented the material an d color scheme for the project which consisted of warm yellow, green and gray tones.

    Ms. Taggert present a material sample and drawing of the proposed sliding entry door that is part of the approved public art component.

    Commissioner Meyer opened the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Meyer closed the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon expressed a preference for white or off white as a color selection. She felt that the color scheme would be in conflict with the existing brick library adjacent to the pool buildings.

    Ms. Taggert replied that the colors where inspired by the colors of the beach and that the use of whites were impractical.

    Tony Leong, project manager, DPW reinforced that from a maintenance standpoint a white color scheme would not be feasible.

    Commissioner Cochran agreed with the architect's color choice and design.

    Commissioner Meyer commented that the design was very handsome and that the color scheme was appropriate to the neighborhood context.

    Commissioner Freebairn-Smith commented that the clarity of the plan was excellent and that the colors where fine as long as the were subdued and of a warm hue. Mr. Freebairn-Smith
    asked about the landscaping strategy for the project.

    Ms. Taggert explained that the landscaping design was not part of their scope of work. However, there is a master plan being proposed by Recreation and Park that will include landscaping.

    Motion to approve Phase 2
    Motion: Stauffacher Solomon

  5. Helen Wills Playground and Clubhouse Renovation
    Phase 1

    Julie Christiansen, Co-Chair, Friends of Helen Wills Park briefly introduced the the history of the park. Ms. Christiansen explained that she was involved in a process to help improve the parks of San Francisco. She explained that most of San Francisco's parks and recreation centers no longer meet the needs of changing activities and user groups. Since it is too expensive to build new rec centers and parks we are faced with the challenge to revitalize the ones we have. Ms. Christiansen explained that a collaboration between the community and architects helped generate some initial working schemes that drove the design presented today. The goal of the community meeting s was to help define the new paradigm for parks of the 21st century.

    Hugh Hynes, Project Architect, Holt Hinshaw presented the design concept for the new park. Mr. Hynes briefly reviewed the existing site conditions. He explained that the conceptual design addressed 4 primary issues: 1. Existing building on site 2.access to natural light 3. maximize the natural grade changes 4. respond to existing and future patterns of use.

    Lizzy Hirsch. Landscape Architect, DPW described the conceptual design for the landscaping. She explained that the intent for the landscaping strategy was to harmoniously integrate play elements with the paths through the park. The circulation through the park leads and transforms in to play elements. The central feature of the play structure would be a 'tree house element". The children's play area is located to simultaneously maximize adult supervision and minimize their overall presence.

    Commissioner Meyer opened the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Meyer closed the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Cochran commented that it was refreshing to see an innovative approach to playground design. Ms. Cochran asked about liability issues with the custom play structures.

    Ms. Hirsch responded that the architects were in close collaboration with the playground equipment manufacturer to insure that the meet all national design standards for play equipment.

    Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon commented that the playground was a unique design.

    Commissioner Meyer commented that he liked the ramp/boardwalk entrance. He commented that the design is very playful and fun. He asked if the architects had considered some sort of noise buffer along Broadway.

    Commissioner Freebairn-Smith commented that open space in San Francisco is a precious commodity. Although the architectural elements in the scheme seem to create an interesting texture he expressed concern that there might be to many things happening in the space. He also expressed concern about the noise along Broadway.

    Ms. Christiansen commented that the it was important to maintain a level of transparency along Broadway for security purposes.

    Motion to approve Phase 1
    Motion: Cochran

  6. Harding Park and Fleming Golf Course Renovation- Revised Maintenance
    Phase 1 & 2

    Victor Talatala, project architect, DPW BOA presented the scope of the project. He explained that the building being reviewed was one of several buildings proposed for the Harding Park and Fleming Golf Course. Mr. Talatal explained that the maintenance shed would be used to store materials and equipment use to take care of the park grounds. He explained that the building would be a prefabricated metal building on a concrete platform. Mr. Talatala commented that the primary change to the design was the roof overhang under which vehicles would be parked. The overhang was previously cantilevered and the revised design incorporates columns.

    Commissioner Meyer opened the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Meyer closed the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Meyer commented that the columns were not a positive design change.

    Commissioner Freebairn-Smith inquired about the landscaping. He asked if there would be landscaping that would help screen all the equipment and miscellaneous materials that would not fit into the shed. He also commented that the new overhang design looked like an after thought and did not correspond to the form of the overall building.

    Commissioner Meyer suggested that they return with a revised roof line scheme and proposed landscaping design.

  7. Beach Chalet, Revised Deck and Garden Proposal
    Phase 1 & 2

    Clark Manus, Principal, Heller Manus Architects presented a PowerPoint presentation for the revised addition to the Beach Chalet. He explained that the goal was to provide a flexible outdoor space that could be used year round. Mr. Manus explained that the design was inspired by the architecture of the existing building. The extended 'room' is located on axis with the front entry of the Beach Chalet. The walls of the room can be folded accordion style to open up the space to the park or closed off during unpleasant weather. A skylight runs along the east west axis of the room, terminated by a fire place.

    Commissioner Meyer opened the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Meyer closed the floor to public comment.

    Commissioner Freebairn-Smith commented that he like the fireplace. He felt that the cornice was a little to heavy and should be modeled after the cornices on the existing building.

    Commissioner Meyer favors the preservationist approach that any addition should be different and not attempt to mimic the original. However, he feels that this proposal is better than what was shown previously. Mr. Meyer feels that there are to many columns along the perimeter of the building. Mr. Meyer commented the the movable walls is an appropriate design solution.

    Commissioner Cochran commented that the plan works really well and that the fireplace is an appropriate element for this building. She commented that the cornice does need more detail. Ms. Cochran asked if the roof was operable.

    Mr.Manus commented that that was a possibility that could be explored.

    Commissioner Stauffacher Solomon commented that the fireplace worked well with the scheme. She commented that the form of the skylight needed more study.

    Commissioner Meyer commented that the design was moving in the right direction and that they should return with a landscaping strategy and revised elevations based on the comments today.

  8. Adjournment

    Meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m.